The 6-1 Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to New Orleans on Halloween to take on the 4-2 Saints, who are coming off a narrow 13-10 victory in Seattle on Monday Night Football. Outside of the Los Angeles Rams game, the Bucs have looked nearly unstoppable and have outscored their opponents by a combined 96 points in their 6 victories, an average margin of victory of 16 points per game. While the Saints do have that impressive Week 1 stomping of Green Bay, they have yet to really put a team away in any of their other victories. Since this is the first meeting between these division rivals this season, and with Jameis Winston under center for the Saints, we don’t have a ton of historical data to go off of for a slant in this game. Let’s dive into some other stats that may help you find an advantage.
Currently, the line in Vegas favors the Bucs as 5.5 point road favorites and an over/under of 50. Neither of these teams are particularly great at covering the spread this year, as Tampa boasts a 3-4 record against the spread (ATS), while New Orleans is 3-3 ATS. The Saints have only had one true home game this season due to Hurricane Ida earlier this year, in which they failed to cover the spread, and the Bucs are a miserable 0-3 ATS as the road team this season. So, if we look at gambling records alone there isn’t a super big gambling advantage there. Lastly, unders have hit in 4/6 games for New Orleans, while the over has hit in 4/7 games for Tampa Bay this year. So, once again, we have some conflicting data on a side to take.
Statistically, the Bucs have the 3rd best offense in the league in terms of points scored per game averaging 33.33 points per game (PPG), and have been averaging 37 PPG in their last 3 contests. However, the Saints have the 3rd ranked defense in the league in terms of points allowed per game allowing only 16.8 PPG, but in their last 3 we have seen that creep up a bit and they’ve allowed 19.7 PPG. The one advantage we see here is that Tampa Bay’s defense seems to be hitting their stride, allowing only 14 PPG in their last 3 games, and have only allowed 181 passing yards per game in that stretch as well. New Orleans ranks 20th in passing yards allowed per game (250.7 yards per game), while the Bucs passing attack is THE most deadly in the league ranking 1st with 324.3 passing yards per game. Therefore, the passing game of Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski, who returned to practice this week, will prove to be too much for the Saints.
The Pick – Bucs (-5.5)
While gambling on the game itself is a thrill, player props are a great way to maximize your winnings if you can find a great slant. Currently, a lot of books don’t have these posted yet, but we will list a few for you to keep an eye on. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are ensured to get plenty of looks since Antonio Brown is looking at possibly heading to the injured reserve with an ankle injury.
Historically, Mike Evans has been relatively quiet in these big divisional games against the Saints. In 13 career games against the Saints Evans is averaging 3.5 catches per game, 51.4 receiving, and has only found the endzone 4 times in those contests. With stats like that, we would avoid betting on Evans to find the endzone and may even take his under on receiving yards if it’s anything higher than 65-70. However, Evans’ counterpart in Chris Godwin has found the endzone 5 times in just 8 games vs. the Saints, so placing a small wager on Godwin to find the endzone may be worth the squeeze, especially since Evans caught 3 touchdowns last week and the New Orleans secondary will be looking to key in on him.
On the New Orleans side of the ball, it may be worth looking at Alvin Kamara’s over on receptions in this one, as he seems to be a key feature in the passing game when the Saints play the Bucs. In 8 career games against Tampa Bay, Kamara averages nearly 8 targets per game and hauls in an average of 6.5 receptions per game in this rivalry. If his over on receptions is anywhere below 7 or 7.5 then this will be worth the squeeze. Another prop that may be set super low and worth a look is the over on Jameis Winston’s rushing yards. He has been using his legs a lot more this season as he has rushed for more than 20 yards in half of the games this season. With Taysom Hill sidelined it seems Winston is getting more chances to run the ball the last two weeks as he had 26 rushing yards against Washington and 40 last week against Seattle. If his over on rushing yards is set at anything below 20 yards, then we would bite on that.
As always, please remember to gamble responsibly. If you’re looking for a spot to place your bets this weekend for Bucs @ Saints, keep in mind that online sportsbooks are officially available in Louisiana and you can visit Sports Betting Dime to place all of your bets.